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Unity 5.5 released, removes legacy OpenGL support

Posted by , 30 November 2016 at 5:59 pm UTC / 4647 views
Unity 5.5 has been released as a pretty major update to this popular game engine. One interesting bit for us is that games built with 5.5 onward will only have access to the modern OpenGL system.

I'm hoping they did a bug-fixing drive on their new OpenGL system, since any game that used the new system in previous builds of Unity had major rendering bugs, which forced you to set the game to use an OpenGL fallback.

Hopefully this will be another step towards OpenGL Unity games performing better.

There's plenty of other new features and bug fixes, here's a look at a glance:
- Native memory allocation profiling in CPU Profiler Timeline
- New modules for the particles system enabling new effects
- Added support for sending custom data to Particle System vertex Shaders
- Unity splash screen tools
- Added support for cubemap arrays
- Added support for BC4,BC5,BC6,BC7 compressed texture formats, and RGBAHalf format
- And tons more!

The Unity Editor 5.5 for Linux is also now available, find more info on that here. It is still not an official build yet.

See the release notes here.
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edo commented on 30 November 2016 at 6:31 pm UTC

Now its the turn of 5.6 beta with vulkan support.


Beer commented on 30 November 2016 at 6:33 pm UTC

The Linux editor was updated to 5.5 on day one too.. that's the real news here. No delayed release for us penguins!

https://forum.unity3d.com/threads/unity-on-linux-release-notes-and-known-issues.350256/#post-2869256

Linux patch notes:

* 5.5.0f3 final!
* For those folks experiencing the "menu/dialogs stop rendering" issue, we've added a command line argument -no-throttle-updates that will give you the old behavior, until we get the problem resolved.

Known issues:

* There are dependency issues with the .deb package on Ubuntu 16.10 and newer. We're working on resolving these; meanwhile, you can still use the .sh installer.
* Some users are experiencing that "native" Gtk UI (menus, dialogs) will stop updating after some time using Unity. For people experiencing this, we recommend that you try the -no-throttle-updates command line option as a temporary workaround.


Last edited by Beer at 30 November 2016 at 6:36 pm UTC


lucinos commented on 30 November 2016 at 6:35 pm UTC

They are removing OGL2. I do not think that this affects anyone. It is good because it reduces their maintenance. But I hope they will not remove OGL3 soon because that will affect some people.


soulsource commented on 30 November 2016 at 7:55 pm UTC

Isn't KSP 1.2 using glcore? The game renders perfectly fine for me (AMD open source drivers).


Xpander commented on 30 November 2016 at 9:13 pm UTC

the new glcore caused only rendering issues with steamoverlay enabled. hopefully thats fixed though


Lordpkappa commented on 1 December 2016 at 8:55 am UTC
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We'll see an upgrade to the actual games that use Unity like Cities Skylines?


Beamboom commented on 1 December 2016 at 9:35 am UTC

How does removing legacy OpenGL support improve things for us, in practical terms? Isn't the legacy support a different library anyways, so performance on newer versions of OGL would be unaffected?

Or are they intervened in some fashion that to me sounds like a really bad design choice?

(I'm no Unity developer - just very very tempted to jump onboard that train)


Last edited by Beamboom at 1 December 2016 at 10:03 am UTC


liamdawe commented on 1 December 2016 at 10:49 am UTC

BeamboomHow does removing legacy OpenGL support improve things for us, in practical terms? Isn't the legacy support a different library anyways, so performance on newer versions of OGL would be unaffected?

Or are they intervened in some fashion that to me sounds like a really bad design choice?

(I'm no Unity developer - just very very tempted to jump onboard that train)
Most games use the legacy OpenGL version Unity has, not many are actually using the newer OpenGL version.

It goes without saying that newer OpenGL allows for improved performance with the use of the newer bits available in it. That depends on what Unity does with it though and what developers do with their actual games too.


STiAT commented on 1 December 2016 at 10:49 am UTC
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LordpkappaWe'll see an upgrade to the actual games that use Unity like Cities Skylines?

They're pretty fast upgrading the eninge for their game. Two days ago (29th of November) they released on Unity 5.4 which was released on 10th of August, so it took them only close to two month. So I'd guess with the next bigger content they release we'll see Unity 5.5 support.


SeeK commented on 4 December 2016 at 3:04 am UTC

lucinosThey are removing OGL2. I do not think that this affects anyone. It is good because it reduces their maintenance. But I hope they will not remove OGL3 soon because that will affect some people.

OpenGL 3.0+ is considered 'modern', which is why it will not be removed. OpenGL 2.1 and below are built around a fixed-function pipeline. Profiles lower than 3.0 should be considered completely deprecated by now and not used at all.


Last edited by SeeK at 4 December 2016 at 3:04 am UTC


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